On April 2-3, the neighborhoods northwest of Druid Hill Park in Baltimore, Maryland, got a vibrant new crosswalk, allowing residents a safer way to access one of the city’s largest parks. As the recipient of grant funding and product sponsorship, Graham Projects collaborated with the New Auchentoroly Terrace Association (ATA) and community residents to design the Druid Hill Park Canopy Crosswalk, an 800 square-foot crosswalk on Druid Hill Drive adjacent to North Fulton Avenue, and oversaw the installation of the crosswalk and sidewalk art.
In 2018, the City of Baltimore passed Complete Streets legislation, which “elevate[s] the priority of pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users in planning and roadway design to increase quality of life and mobility in Baltimore City.” The Complete Streets legislation reinforced the efforts of The Access Project: Druid Hill Park, a community-driven project that began in 2016 in support of creating safer access for all residents in surrounding neighborhoods. “Complete Streets are for everyone,” stated public artist, OSI-Baltimore Community Fellow, and ATA President Graham Coreil-Allen, “including the 50% of Druid Hill Park area residents who rely on walking, taking the bus, and riding bicycles and scooters to get to work, school, and family.”
In addition to the Druid Hill Canopy Crosswalk installation, the sidewalks leading to the crosswalk were decorated with park-inspired artwork. Using stencils and StreetBond pavement coating products, Graham Projects added the leaf designs, selected by community members based on trees found within the park. During the Community Paint Day events on April 2 and 3, residents of all ages painted the 107 leaves lining the sidewalks in shades of blue, brown, yellow, salmon, and fuchsia, with guidance from the Graham Projects team. Additionally, ATA recruited youth from The Urban Oasis, a local nonprofit, to paint the sidewalk artwork in exchange for fair wages.
Local dignitaries and community leaders attended the April 2 events, including Mayor Brandon Scott, Maryland State Senator Antonio Hayes, Greater Mondawmin Coordinating Council President Adeline Hutchinson, and ATA Vice President Cheryl Bailey Solomon. “I’ve always lived within 2-3 miles of Druid Hill Park,” said Ms. Bailey Solomon. “We are seeing the park transition to become a playground for a diverse group, and this crosswalk will be in a significant spot. Anything we can do to make that area safer is important for our community.” Senator Hayes shared his memories of growing up nearby and how difficult it could be to get to Druid Hill Park. “The work that’s being done to create safe access to one of the largest urban parks in the nation is a big deal,” he said.
The Druid Hill Canopy Crosswalk was funded through the generous support of the Greater Rosemont Mondawmin (GRM) Neighborhood Spruce-Up Grant, administered by Neighborhood Housing Services of Baltimore, Inc. and distributed via The Baltimore Regional Neighborhoods Initiative (BRNI), part of the State of Maryland’s Department of Housing and Community Development. A neighborhood grant from the Baltimore Community Foundation also contributed to the project. If you would like to collaborate with Graham Projects on creating safer streets and walkways in your neighborhood, connect with us here! Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article written by Corinne Litchfield.
For more photos and information, visit the Druid Hill Canopy Crosswalk project page: grahamprojects.com/projects/canopycrosswalk